The Crimson lacrosse team finished with a furious rally Saturday afternoon, scoring the last five goals of the game to stun 13th-ranked Princeton, 11-10.
The first quarter was a choking defensive battle. Neither team scored until the final minute, when midfielder Chris Doherty tallied to give Harvard an early lead.
But in the second quarter, the floodgates opened. Kevin McCall connected off a pass from Steve Martin with Princeton a man down, but Charlie Jones answered for the Tigers. Billy Tennis scored to put Harvard back up by two, but then the two leading scorers in the Ivy League, attackmen Dave Tickner and Wick Sollers, went to work for Princeton.
In less than two minutes, Tickner set Sollers up twice and the score was tied, 3-3. Moments later, Ken McNaughton found the net for Princeton, and the visiting Tigers grabbed the lead.
As halftime neared, Tennis pumped in his second score of the day to knot the contest again, but Sollers fed Richard Thomas to assure Princeton a haltime lead, 5-4.
The two squads continued to trade goals again in the third quarter. Princeton had another man sent to the penalty box, and Bill MacKenzie converted on Martin's second assist of the day to pull Harvard even. After Sollers notched two more, on assists from Tickner and Thomas, Martin fed McCall on yet another man-up opportunity to keep the Crimson close.
In the final minutes of the period, Princeton made its bid to put the game away, getting goals from Jones and middie Tom Chaires. When Sollers got his fifth goal with the aid of Tickner's fifth assist at 11:47, the Tigers looked safe with a 10-6 bulge.
Harvard scrambled to get back in the game, but McCall's long shot hit the pipe, the fourth or fifth time that had happened in the game. It just didn't look like Harvard's day.
But then in the final seconds of the period, Tennis took the ball wide left and charged toward the crease. He passed the ball off to Bobby Mellen, who scored with only eight seconds left to pull the Crimson within striking distance.
The final period was played in a driving rain, but the fired-up stickmen took the game away from the visitors. With nine minutes left to play and flag down on the field, MacKenzie scored on a fast-break pass from Andy Gellis. Only 16 seconds later, on the ensuing man-up opportunity, Tennis beat the Princeton goalie to pull Harvard within one.
In the next five minutes, the Crimson failed to score the tying goal on two more power-play situations, but then with less than four minutes left, Tennis connected again with a pass from Hank Leopold to knot the score at 10-10.
Moments later, Jim Michelson made a fine save in goal to thwart a Princeton scoring bid. The two teams battledfuriously in the mud for the rebound, but the ground ball went to Kevin McCall, who charged upfield on the fast break.
McCall to Forbush to Martin
McCall fired the ball to midfielder Billy Forbush, who passed to his left to playmaker Martin, who returned the ball to Forbush right on the goalie's doorstep. The freshman slipped the ball over the netminder's right shoulder for the game winner, and the Harvard bench exploded, dancing for joy in the rain.
As the clock ran out, the savage Harvard defense stymied the Tigers' last bid and the two teams swarmed after a groundball at midfield. Princeton never got a last shot.